Seiichi Sugano Sensei, 8th Dan, Shihan
New York Aikikai
Born in 1939 in Otaru, Hokkaido, Sugano Sensei had been studying judo for six years when he read about aikido in a magazine and went to Hombu Dojo in 1957 to begin his training. After about a year, he entered the uchi deshi program. That period was very intense for him; he was completely focused on training and on O Sensei.
"To me," he recalls, "O Sensei was the zenith. My training was geared entirely to striving toward that peak." "Even where we're teaching technically no one is just like him. He was a unique person so no one could really copy him. So, perhaps the biggest influence from him is probably to make each person free to search for something individually."
Sugano Sensei's own path has led him to live and teach in different parts of the world.
In 1965, he moved Australia, staying for thirteen years and establishing a strong base of aikido. He then he moved to Belgium, and began teaching throughout Europe before coming to New York City in the late 80's. In 2003, he lost his left leg below the knee to a bacterial infection. However, he did not let this change affect his spirit, his enthusiasm for teaching nor his approach to life.
He traveled the world regularly, teaching aikido and inspiring his students. On August 29th 2010, Sugano Sensei passed away. He is greatly missed.
Sugano Sensei Articles
by Skip Short, New York Aikikai
“There are so many different types of knowledge in the world. Aikido is only one of them. It is unrealistic to consider Aikido as the end of our search for knowledge. And in Aikido we should still be searching for what Aikido is and why we are practicing.”
So said Seiichi Sugano as we started our discussions. I was surprised and intrigued. I had expected from his demeanor in the dojo and on the mat that Sugano Sensei would portray Aikido as a discipline with spiritual aspects and the potential for serving as a catalyst for learning in one’s own life.